Yesterday I read two of the most illogical laptop stories – Apple’s decision to legally threaten Something Awful, and professors who are banning laptops from the classroom.

The story behind the Apple vs. Something Awful blows my mind. The issue is a thread in the Something Awful forum that links to a manual hosted at Apple. Apple lawyers, apparently, think this is illegal since it violates their client’s IP. SA isn’t even hosting said file! If linking to a published and publically accessible resource is illegal, then Apple should take on Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo for linking to content published on their website. The overheating MacBook Pros and sloppy technical response from Apple is already makes Apple look bad enough, but suing a community of self-helping consumers just makes Apple look even worse.

Professors seem to have taken a rather personal response to the presence of laptops in the classroom and some of them have banned them outright. While I understand their motivation, I think these professors are missing a prime opportunity to let natural selection take its course. If a student wants to flunk a course because he/she was too busy chatting with their MySpace friends, then let them. When a kid enters college/university they need to learn responsibility. Nothing teaches responsibility quite like failing a course, and having to deal with the subsequent grilling by angry parents who pay for their education.

Must have been a full moon in the laptop world yesterday…

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